Title: Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Okay, I'll be honest here: When I first tried to read this novel, it rang a lot of Harry Potter for me, so much so that I had to put it down for a while. I mean, all the elements were there: magic, mystery, loads of food porn, lots of kissing and witty banter. But when I picked it up again, I decided to put Harry Potter out of my head and just let the book lead me where it wished. My first (and favorite so far) Rainbow Rowell novel, Fangirl, references the Simon Snow series a lot, and I was so excited when I found out that Rowell was writing an actual novel for Simon.
What can I say? This book is a fantasy, but to say it's a just a fantasy does this story a real disservice. It's not just a fantasy--it also pays homage to a lot of familiar elements of that genre, but done with Rainbow Rowell's signature panache and style. I loved it, I'm just going to say it. I really, really loved this book when I finally let go of my "this is just a Harry Potter knockoff" thoughts. For a lot of people, this book was so meta that they couldn't read it, but I really enjoyed it.
The pacing was fantastic, breakneck right out of the gate, and I loved the way the narrative bounced between all the different characters. (I'm such a fan of multiple POVs now, before and after this book. Lol.) I also loved the characters themselves, from Simon, to Baz, to Penelope and Agatha, and back again. I loved this book so much. It just seemed to suck me into it, even when I had my heels dug in. It was so gosh darn good. Even when I wasn't sure I was on board or not! Oh, Rainbow Rowell. If you hadn't already made me a die-hard for your writing with Fangirl, Carry On would've done the job too! Absolutely wonderful! There were some points in the book that were just sort of cheesy, which is why this is only getting four stars instead of the full five, but you can't have everything! Next on deck: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine!